Antique Collectible Glass
A History of Glass Making
The history of glass making is very old and even now is covered in the deepest mystery. Natural glass has existed since the beginning of time, formed when certain types of rocks melt as a result of high temperature occurrences such as volcanic eruptions, lightning strikes or the impact of meteorites, and then cool and solidify rapidly. The Phoenicians and the Egyptians argued for centuries over who had first discovered the art of glass making. According to the ancient Roman historian Pliny, a group of merchants returning from Egypt with a large cargo of "natron" (know today as sodium carbonate), stopped one evening along the banks of the river Belus to rest. Not able to find stones on which to place the utensils required for the preparation of their evening meal, they used instead some blocks of natron and lit a fire nearby that continued to burn throughout the night. With the intense heat of the fire, the blocks melted and mixed with the sand of the beach to form an opaque, shiny material. The Phoenicians realized at once the importance of the discovery and in their cities of Tyre and Sidon, organized an industry that produced various objects with this new, shiny material called glass.
The art of glass making eventually reached Egypt. The Egyptians used a method called core-forming. A shaped core was made of clay and dung, then molten glass was wrapped around it and shaped by rolling it on a smooth surface. Very much later, around the end of the 1st century B.C., a new method, glass blowing, would revolutionize glass production. This art was probably discovered along the Eastern Mediterranean coast, probably in Syria. This technique is achieved by a glass blower who blows air into a glob of molten glass from one end of a long, hollow rod. He then blows the glass into various shapes and forms. Once it is in the form that the artist wants, they then transfer the piece to a pontil rod for further finishing. Alternately, he can blow the molten glass into a mold that has been designed for a piece. The glass will fill the mold at which time it is allowed to cool. Once cool the mold will be opened and the glass will carry the imprint of the mold. The glass blowing innovation, along with the backing of the powerful Roman Empire, made glass products more accessible to the common people. As the size of the Roman Empire increased, the art of glass making spread to many countries.
Links of Interest
Antique Glass - This is a group for people interested in collecting old or antique glass. Membership is free.
Candy Container Collectors of America - Club for those interested in the collecting of antique candy containers. Membership information, links and newsletter excerpts available online.
Christine Bridge Antiques - Specialize in fine 18th century collectors glass, Georgian drinking glasses, 19th century Victorian coloured glass and decorative antiques, silkwork and samplers.
Custard Glass Society - Custard Glass Collector's Society online information source.
Den of Antiquity - Specializing in fine quality Victorian art glass, early 20th Century art glass, American and European art pottery, fine porcelains, American Indian items, and Arts and Crafts items.
Discontinued Designs - Company reproduces cut crystal designs no longer in production. Worldwide shipping.
The Empire of Flacons - Large collection of perfume bottles.
European Glass - Links to sites featuring glass from numerous points of view.
Fenton Art Glass Company - Handcrafted glass artistry since 1905. Handmade blown and pressed glass in a variety of shapes and colors. Handpainted decorations and product offerings, including highly collectible limited editions.
Fenton Fanatics - Resources for Fenton Art Glass collectors. Contains articles about Fenton, monthly columns, a Fenton Art gallery, chat board, links to Fenton dealers, online classifieds, and various other resources.
Flower Frogs and Other Favorites - Homepage dedicated to personal collection of over 100 flower frogs. Includes links to a definition of flower frogs and other flower frog sites on the web.
Gambaro Vetri - Italian and Venetian glassware, art glasswork, and mirrors.
The Glass Association - For collectors, museum curators, dealers in glass, glass workers and glass makers.
Glass Collectors Society - Glass club catering for collectors of general glassware.
Glass Encyclopedia - Information, pictures and references on glass from the Glass Encyclopedia online.
The Hemingray Glass Company 1848-1972 - Features brief company history and photos of several items produced by the company.
The Hemingray Online Museum - A collector's site spotlighting many of the products of the Hemingray Glass Company.
Just Glass Online - An online magazine for antique and collectible glass enthusiasts.
limedragon's Refrigerator Dishes - limedragon's reference page on these lidded storage dishes from the days before Tupperware (TM).
Mark Harrington Glassware - Established in San Francisco 1932. Fine crystal, glass and china shop. Provides crystal and china repair services and crystal engraving.
Mike's Tiki Mugs And More - Collector of Tiki Mugs or Hawaiiana, also interested in trading with other collectors.
Monart Glass - Photos of a private collection.
My Glass Duchess - Specialize in American glassware and dinnerware as well as paper collectibles of all kinds.
National American Glass Club - A non-profit educational organization for glass collectors, students, researchers and professionals whose interest lies in glass of all kinds, types, ages and national origins.
National Milk Glass Collectors Society - Dedicated to the preservation, study, and enjoyment of milk glass including all periods and manufacturers, domestic and foreign.
Pacific Glass Auctions - Antique bottle auction house on the internet. Sacramento, California-based auction business selling all types of antique bottles made from the 1850's to the 1900's, with a focus on Western-produced glass.
The Pottery Studio - A knowledge base for collectors, students and lovers of pottery of all kinds.
Retro Redheads - An online catalog of vintage glassware, dinnerware and other housewares for the Retro home.
Spec-Tru - A Glass Color Reference Tool - A color reference system combining the functions of colorimeter and spectrograph as a tool for cataloging the colors in glass collections, or describing colors of insulators, bottles, jars, and other colored glass.
Star Track Software: Swarovski Crystal Edition - Star Track Software allows Swarovski collectors to keep accurate records of their collections.
Wheaton Village - Leading resource of American craft with an emphasis on the medium of glass, a stronghold in New Jersey's cultural history. The Museum of American Glass is the largest museum in the country dedicated to preserving the history of glass made in the United States.
Wild Rose Antiques and Collectibles - Antique glassware, kitchenware, and metalware.